On paper, the idea of a steel mill coming to Mississippi looks financially appealing.
SteelCorr Inc. would invest $650 million for construction on 1,400 acres of a 1,500-acre megasite in Columbus. Some 450 people would earn a $70,000 average annual salary plus benefits, and direct and indirect jobs could equal as many as 1,000.
But SteelCorr does face hurdles, according to some analysts. Its biggest one is turning a profit in an industry with high production costs.
Factoring equipment needed and investment to build such a facility, costs could be $900 million to $1.2 billion, said Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland, who wrote a study about SteelCorr’s prospect.
“How will (SteelCorr) build a $1 billon facility for $650 million?” asked Morici, a former director of economics for the U.S. International Trade Commission.
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